CAMANCHE — It’s not that Janey Finn hasn’t been a good pool player since picking up a stick in 1977.
The Scottish-born Camanche resident is known around the area and the state for being a markswoman on the pool table. But these past few weeks of success have surprised even her.
Finn took home first-place honors in three events over the past month. She grabbed first place in ladies singles on March 17 at the VNEA state tournament in Waterloo.
She followed up that performance with two titles at the ISP state tournament in Des Moines this past weekend — ladies singles and team competition with Silver Dollar. Team members included Shelly and Kayla Brewer, Shawnna Perry, Lindsay Totten and Finn.
In her 36 years of playing pool, she’s never earned first place in ladies singles at a state tournament.
“Sometimes you just go out there, and everything seems to be working pretty good,” Finn said. “It’s one of those things; everything just felt right and the games all worked out.”
Finn has come a long way since moving to Camanche in 1974 from her native Scotland. She began playing pool in 1977 at bars with her husband.
Eventually, a team had an opening in a league, and asked Finn to join.
“As the years went on, I just got a little better,” Finn said.
She’s now the president of the CPBA in Clinton and participates in tournaments around the state. She also plays in a league once a week.
“I’ve met so many friends through tournaments and leagues,” Finn said. “Everyone knows you, and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
That closeness between Finn and her friends and family helped catapult her to victory this past month.
Supporters from Clinton flooded the stands at both tournaments, with almost 75 to 100 people cheering Finn’s every shot.
Her son, Andrew, was one of her family members in attendance. He, along with the rest of her family, husband Stephen, Kristy Morrison, Angela Eagle, and son Stephen, have supported her throughout her pool career.
“The whole place erupted when she won,” Andrew said.
That support made the difference, Janey said.
“The people from Clinton that came to watch were fantastic,” Janey said. “Them cheering me on helped a lot.”
Now Janey must move on to the master’s division next year for the state championships. The VNEA tournament includes two divisions, while the ISP state tournament has three divisions.
Finn squared off against approximately 200 people during each event.
And Finn isn’t finished yet with tournaments. She’s headed in May to Las Vegas with a team from the Quad-Cities for the national championships in pool.
Regardless of what happens, those three first-place plaques in a month will be a tough feat to beat.